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Help trying to negotiate a settlement

Larry12 posted 7/31/2020 11:08 AM

I posted my story about my wife's affair on here back in Feb but I'm really struggling to find the thread. I received some great advice and i'm so grateful for it. I have had a really emotionally tough and challenging year.

To cut a long story short - I discovered my wife was having an affair with a married man (with children). My wife had been living a double life by being with me. Her family and their religious beliefs mean that they would not have been happy with anything she has been doing i.e being married to a white guy (they never knew nor were invited to the wedding), her career and her drinking habits.

I am now at the point where we are negotiating a settlement. I want to remain in my apartment if I can. The problem is, she is trying to get every penny out of me she can. There is no remorse and she is behaving really unreasonably. I have already offered her a fair offer via an attorney but she came back with extremely high demands. I had to laugh when I saw them.

I am just wondering if and how I could go about using exposure of her behaviour as leverage to make her see sense. Has anybody done this before?

Catwoman posted 7/31/2020 11:15 AM

Do you own the apartment, or is it a rental?

Is this an emotional desire, or are there other reasons why you want to stay in this particular apartment?

Do you have children involved who would need the stability of their familiar home?

A little more information would allow people to help you.


J707 posted 7/31/2020 12:42 PM

Ideally everything is 50/50. But everything and anything is on the table. I ended up taking on a little more debt just to get it done ($1,500). It took 5 months for her to agree and that was the final straw for her, finally. Don't screw yourself but also if it's more of a 40/60 split, maybe it's worth it to get her to sign. Some people fight over forks and spoons, it can become pretty ridiculous. What are her high demands? Most unremorcful cheaters want everything, all the cake.

Larry12 posted 7/31/2020 13:05 PM

Hi Cat,

Apologies for leaving this information out.

We own the apartment 50/50. I would like to stay here as it is quite a good investment and close to my place of work. My STBXW does not want to live here. I'd like to stay and make it my own rather than a 'couple's' place.

We don't have any children. Fortunately!

Larry12 posted 7/31/2020 13:10 PM

Hi J707,

She literally wants everything and the shirt off my back! She does not appreciate that I hold key information, pictures etc. that could cause a lot of trouble for her and her family. I have offered what I consider a fair offer and is mainly based on a 50/50 split. She, however, wants every penny she put in. She should have signed in a prenup it that case! I am going to have to borrow money even to settle on my original offer. It's been 6 weeks now...I really hope it doesn't take 5 months. I am still in the apartment however and I am paying the mortgage for both of us. My STBXW stopped paying months ago so each month that goes on, my offer get's less.

BetterTimesAhead posted 7/31/2020 14:02 PM

I believe each state has laws about who gets what regarding marital property and money (percentage-wise). If you are offering her more than the law requires, let her know this is your final offer or you will just go by what the court determines. Keep receipts and statements for everything you pay that is considered marital (such as the mortgage) if the financial arrangements have changed since the D paperwork was filed. Sometimes you can get I guess you would say a credit for what she should have been paying during that time unless there was an agreement in place.

Of course I'm not an attorney so please consult yours about what I said to make sure I am correct.

Catwoman posted 7/31/2020 16:21 PM

The premise is generally (roughly) 50/50, but there are some potential mitigating circumstances.

First you want the apartment. You will need to determine its worth and the equity you have in it. Since you want it, you would need to give her something equivalent to her equity. Now, if you owned it prior to your marriage, that makes it vry much a different story. If you used inheritance funds to purchase it, that can also color things. You need to find out from your attorney how this works in your jurisdiction.

Since you don't have children, I would assume things would be very straightforward in terms of division of assets. What seems to be the gating issue?


Planetx posted 7/31/2020 21:36 PM

I think one of the hardest pills to swallow during my divorce was that no one cared about how bad XWH's behavior was. If there are no children involved, I don't know that her behavior would have any effect on the settlement. You mentioned that an attorney made your settlement offer, is the attorney able to respond to her demands? I think using compromising pictures and info as leverage to get her to settle could work against you if this would end up going in front of a judge, but definitely talk to your attorney. My divorce took about 10 months, there was a point when my attorney told XWH: this is our final offer, if you don't like it we'll do the divorce without agreement and have a judge decide. We ended up settling out of court but it took a long time!

LadyG posted 7/31/2020 22:04 PM

I was reluctant to respond to you but, It does sound like a typical cheater thing to do.

Her Attorney has possibly advised your WS to go for as much as she can. She has asked for the shirt off your back, but realistically she may get a button or 2.

My WH was also rushing me towards a financial settlement even before the Divorce proceedings were filed.

I did wait, I mean he expected that I would come up with a settlement within a week. That was in February. Since that time I remember the scholarship fund we had setup for our children. He was hoping that In my grief I would forget about that. Discovering takes a while when youíve been married 32 years. My STBX withdrew almost half of those funds in the 18 months during the A. I was livid as I set that fund up for our children.

Since COVID our property market isnít looking great and even work and income fluctuates.

As the BS I am being very generous and patient. Neither of us want to loose out. My WH remains in our family home for now and I would be stupid to force a sale in this uncertain market.

If you can, wait until she cracks and settles for 50/50 or get a realistic appraisal now, should you sell the apartment today.

IMO, as the apartment is perfectly located for your needs She wants to inconvenience you a little bit more. Good luck 🙏🏼

Phoenix1 posted 8/1/2020 02:56 AM

Her family and their religious beliefs mean that they would not have been happy with anything she has been doing

The info can be used as leverage IF you can file on grounds of fault, i.e. adultery. Not all states allow it. If that is not an option, it won't help much unless you can play on her guilt about her family learning all the sordid details.

When my ex starting getting a little difficult I very nonchalantly told him that was fine. Instead of working out an agreement on our own, I would file on grounds of adultery (an option in my state) and would subpoena his OW to air all his dirty laundry in court. He backed off quickly, but only because his public image is very important to him. I knew that and used that knowledge to my advantage. We ended up negotiating our own agreement. I got the marital home and all equity (what I wanted), but I took more debt and let him have other assets I didn't care about in order to offset his portion of the equity.

A lot also depends on if you are in an equitable distribution or community property state. More flexibility with equitable distribution, which means it has to be fair but not necessarily 50/50.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 2:59 AM, August 1st (Saturday)]

Phoenix1 posted 8/1/2020 02:56 AM

* duplicate *

[This message edited by SI Staff at 2:57 AM, August 1st (Saturday)]

The1stWife posted 8/1/2020 07:13 AM

Tell her you made a fair offer. If you need to spend $ on an attorney her share of the pie is less (basic math here duh!).

Donít give up the apartment. No matter what.

Suggest she see a lawyer to finding what she legally is entitled to. Hopefully she will realize you made a fair offer and she should take it. Otherwise start deducting your payments in the apartment.

barcher144 posted 8/1/2020 09:43 AM

I am just wondering if and how I could go about using exposure of her behaviour as leverage to make her see sense. Has anybody done this before?

I think that you need to be very careful here. Depending on how I interpret this statement, you could be asking for advice on extortion, which is illegal.

You are also suggesting that your STBX is asking for more than half of the marital pie.... color me crazy, but I am shocked... SHOCKED... that a wayward spouse would think that more than half is fair.

Do you have kids? If so, then you need to recognize that she will likely respond to anything you do buy putting the kids in the middle, ensuring that they will suffer collateral damage from anything that you do. So, if you have kids, I suggest that you get a good lawyer, listen to his/her advice, and buckle your seat belt because you are in for a long, nasty rollercoaster ride that will require focus and patience (my divorce is still on-going and it's now been 23 months).

If you don't have kids, then her leverage is less. Assuming that you are in the USA, you have pretty good legal protections as far as "freedom of speech." You have the ability share factually correct information and probably a little bit more than that. For example, my STBXW has told all of our previously mutual friends that I was violent and abusive to her, which is not true. She has told our children that I have raped her, also untrue. My attorney basically shrugged and said that stuff happens in a divorce.

Generally speaking, though, it's best not to get down into the mud and fight with a pig. The pig has far more experience than you and the pig actually likes the mud.

So, I recommend that you simply try to mentally cut her out of your life as best as you can... and rebuild and move on. The best part of this approach... is that it will hurt her more than anything else that you can do. The saying is that "living well is the best revenge" and this definitely applies to my STBXW. She is livid that I am happy and moved on.

Buster123 posted 8/1/2020 14:02 PM

You don't have to tell her: "If you don't agree to a 50/50 split and let me keep the apartment I will EXPOSE all the dirty details of your A", instead,
simply tell her that if she agrees to a fair 50/50 split you would agree to keep the details of the D confidential including all the A information and picutures (she can and will read between the lines), this can be enforced by a confidentiality agreement.

[This message edited by Buster123 at 2:02 PM, August 1st (Saturday)]

Anna123 posted 8/1/2020 21:22 PM

Both what Buster just said AND the 50/50 comments -

I believe each state has laws about who gets what regarding marital property and money (percentage-wise). If you are offering her more than the law requires, let her know this is your final offer or you will just go by what the court determines.

Larry12 posted 8/2/2020 06:03 AM

Thanks Buster, this is the sort of info I was looking for.

barcher144, totally appreciate that this could be perceived as extortion which is why I came on here looking to see if anyone has done something similar and how they went about avoiding it. We haven't got children. My STBXW has refused to acknowledge or accept any adultery fault in the divorce process. It's going to be hard for me to prove she committed it without revealing my sources which I believe in court, would be seen as illegal (apart from the fact she eventually came out and told me).

A 50/50 split would go in my favour. I'm worried she also could ask too much for the apartment than I can afford. I have already spoken to the bank and know my lending limits.

I really do not want her to get more than she deserves, which in my opinion is very very little considering what she has done to me and this is less than I am already offering her.

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